The U.S. government announced Tuesday that it will no longer conduct workplace searches to search for undocumented immigrants and will respect employers and labor laws to prevent “exploitation” of immigrants.
“We will not tolerate dishonest employers exploiting unauthorized workers or imposing unhealthy or dangerous working conditions,” said Alejandro Myorgas, head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS, English).
During the administration of former President Donald Trump, a Mayorcos memorandum called for an end to mass raids on work sites, claiming that “those actions led to the simultaneous arrests of hundreds of workers.”
The statement said the tests were “used by exploitative employers as retaliation against workers who insist on our labor laws.”
“Employees who engage in illegal activities will be at the center of our law enforcement resources,” Myorgas said. “By targeting the most dishonest employers, we will protect workers and legitimate American businesses.”
At the beginning of 2020, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE) detained an average of 40,000 people daily, and more than 21,800 are currently detained at various detention centers across the country.
According to ICE data, arrests that included workplace raids during the Trump administration fell from 6,000 last December to 3,600 in August.
Last July, the Hispanic Caucus in Congress said in a statement that “the stigma attached to immigrant communities has led to increased surveillance and arrests by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE), often in conjunction with local law enforcement.”
“Large-scale raids and arrests target mainly immigrant communities, often taking place in schools or workplaces, undermining trust between communities and the police,” the report added.
The note joins in changing the priorities for the arrest and deportation of undocumented immigrants by the ICE announced by the government on September 30, which will take effect from November 29.
Under the new rules, deportation of criminals and those who have recently crossed the border illegally is a priority.
Later, Myorgas told the Washington Post that ICE agents should not arrest and deport rural workers, the elderly or those who denounce “dishonest” homeowners or employers or take part in protests.
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